FourBlock Connects Post-9/11 Veterans with Booz Allen Hamilton Leaders

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FourBlock Connects Post-9/11 Veterans with Booz Allen Hamilton Leaders

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Monday, April 10, 2017 - 3:30pm

CAMPAIGN: Better Our World

CONTENT: Article

Although unemployment rates among post-9/11 veterans are improving- from 12.7% in 2012 to 5.5% currently- veterans still face a unique set of challenges as they transition into the civilian workforce. Nearly half of all vets leave their first post-military job within the first year, and many veterans report feeling under-utilized in their careers.

FourBlock, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting high-potential veterans with the nation’s top companies, recently teamed up with management and technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton to host a group of veterans at the firm’s new Innovation Center.

  • Booz Allen Associate Steve Caruso, an Air Force veteran and FourBlock New York City alumni, led the event, which allowed veterans currently enrolled in universities to put into practice the networking skills they’ve learned as part of the ten-week FourBlock program.  “Many young veterans have no idea about some of cutting-edge technologies Booz Allen is working on,” he said. “The vets were able to learn about Booz Allen’s developments around large-scale challenges in cybersecurity and infectious disease. And the Innovation Center- which feels more like a Silicon Valley startup than a century-old consulting company- was a great venue for getting the FourBlock group excited about what’s happening at the firm.” 
  • Kurt Scherer, a Marine veteran and the director of the DC Innovation Center, outlined the firm’s innovation strategy to his fellow servicemen and women, highlighting examples of how Booz Allen is partnering with some of the tech industry’s key innovators- like HP and Microsoft- to deliver solutions to clients.
    • Kurt also discussed the positive impact his Marine Corps experience has had on his career with Booz Allen, and the firm’s commitment to hiring veterans.
  • Innovation Center Ambassador Brinda Sen Gupta led a tour of the facility, demonstrating the center’s “Living Wall,” which captures a digital image and transforms that image into an artistic expression. The FourBlock vets were especially interested in the products displayed in the IoT (Internet of Things) Lab, particularly the mobile, location-based security system called District Defend.

Jared Burgess, a graduate student at George Washington University, commented “It was interesting see the steps Booz Allen is taking to recruit younger talent and stay relevant in the innovative tech space. Definitely a worthwhile event that I’ll be following up on!”

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